Names of Pokemon in Japanese

Hello, let’s learn how the name of your favorite Pokemon is written in Japanese.

Where does the name Pokemon come from?

Japanese people like to shorten commonly used composed words. For instance, instead of using the word パトロル・カー (PATORORU KĀ – patrol car), which not so easy to pronounce in Japanese, they use the word パトカー (PATOKĀ).

Basically, Japanese people will pick one or two syllables from each word and join them to form something shorter and easier to pronounce.

Based on that, now, where do you think that the work Pokemon (ポケモン – POKEMON) comes from?

ポケモン is the short for ポケット・モンスター (POKETTO MONSUTĀ – pocket monster).

Pokemon names and their origin

The name of the Pokémon is written principally using the katakana syllabary. You can learn more about this syllabary here: discovering the Japanese syllabaries

You will find the names in the next part.

Most of these Japanese Pokemon names, like in English, are derived from common words. I added the most probable origin of these names so that you also understand from which Japanese words they are derived.

Words in hiragana are Japanese words, words in katakana are either translation of English words into Japanese, onomatopoeia or non-standard Japanese words.

Now, let’s discover these names!

List of Pokemon names in Japanese

Here are some of the first and second generation Pokemon with their default form and first evolution.

ピカチュウ [PIKACHŪ] (ピカピカ: sparkling, ちゅう:  rat squeak) – Pikachu
ライチュウ [RAICHŪ] (ライトのング: lightning, ちゅう:  rat squeak) – Raichu

フシギダネ [FUSHIGIDANE] (ふしぎ: marvellous, たね: seed) – Bulbasaur
フシギソウ [FUSHIGISŌ] (ふしぎ: marvellous, ソウ: grass) – Ivysaur

ヒトカゲ  [HITOKAGE] (ひ: fire,トカゲ: lizard) – Charmander
リザード  [RIZĀDO] (リザード: lizard) – Charmeleon

ゼニガメ  [ZENIGAME] (ぜに: round coin with a square hole, かめ: turtle) – Squirtle
カメール  [KAMĒRU] (かめ: turtle, メール: mail, like in chain mail) – Wartortle

キャタピー [KYATAPĪ] (キャタピラ: caterpillar) – Caterpie
トランセル [TORANSERU] (トランスフォーメーション: transformation, セル: cell) – Metapod

ビードル  [BĪDORU] (ビー: bee, ニードル: needle) – Weedle
コクーン  [KOKŪN] (コクーン: cocoon) – Kakuna

ポッポ   [POPPO] (ぽっぽ: puffing) – Pidgey
ピジョン  [PIJON] (ピジョン: pigeon) – Pidgeotto

コラッタ  [KORATTA] (こ: child, young,  ラット: rat) – Rattata
ラッタ   [RATTA] (ラット: rat) – Raticate

ニドラン♀ [NIDORAN] (probably ニードル: needle, ラン: run) -Nidoran♀
ニドリーナ [NIDORĪNA] (probablyニードル: needle, リーノ: rhino with a final a to make it sound feminine) – Nidorina

ニドラン♂ [NIDORAN] (probably ニードル: needle, ラン: run) -Nidoran♂
ニドリーノ [NIDORĪNA] (probablyニードル: needle, リーノ: rhino) – Nidorino

ピッピ   [PIPPI] (???) – Clefairy
ピクシー  [PIKUSHĪ] (ピクシー: pixie) – Clefable

ロコン  [ROKON] (ろく: six, コンコン: fox bark) – Vulpix
キュウコン [KYŪKON] (きゅう: nine, コンコン: fox bark) – Ninetales

プリン  [PURIN] (probably プリティ: pretty, -りん: cute) – Jigglypuff
プクリン [PUKURIN] (probably ぷくぷく: cute and chubby, -りん: cute) – Wigglytuff

Did you find your favorite Pokemon? If not, do not hesitate to ask me and I will add them.


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